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Utkatasana is a standing asana in modern yoga as exercise.[1] (Sanskrit: उत्कटासन; IAST: Utkaṭāsana), Chair Pose,[2] It was a low squatting asana in medieval hatha yoga.[3]

Etymology and origins[edit]

Utkatasana shown as a squatting pose in the 19th century Sritattvanidhi

The name comes from the Sanskrit words utkaṭa (उत्कट) meaning "wild, frightening, above the usual, intense, gigantic, furious, or heavy",[4] and asana (आसन) meaning "posture" or "seat".[5]

The modern chair-like pose is said to originate with Krishnamacharya.[6] However an older version of the pose, with the yogin squatting lower down on to the heels, is shown in the 19th century Sritattvanidhi.[3]


In Utkatasana, the knees are hips-width apart, the knees are bent, the hips are back, the chest is forward, and the arms are above the head, in line with the ears.[7]


Variations include a rotated pose, Parivritta Utkatasana.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Budilovsky, Joan; Adamson, Eve (2000). The complete idiot's guide to yoga (2 ed.). Penguin. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-02-863970-3.
  2. ^ "Chair Pose". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  3. ^ a b Sjoman, Norman E. (1999). The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Abhinav Publications. pp. 83, plate 17. ISBN 81-7017-389-2.
  4. ^ "Utkatasana". Ashtanga Yoga. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  5. ^ Sinha, S. C. (1 June 1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9.
  6. ^ "Utkatasana | Chair Pose". Akasha Yoga Academy. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Chair | Utkatasana". Yoga Basics. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  8. ^ Active Interest Media (2004). Yoga Journal. Active Interest Media. p. 73. ISSN 0191-0965.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]